TV Talk

Secret Invasion Adds Directors and More TV and Streaming News

Directors Thomas Bezucha and Ali Selim join the Marvel Studios series. Plus, Hulu's The Great adds Gillian Anderson, new Friends reunion teaser, first-look photos of Camila Cabello as Cinderella, and more of the week's top TV and streaming news.

by | May 14, 2021 | Comments

The highly anticipated next Marvel Studios series Secret Invasion is coalescing. Plus, The Crown star joins The Great, first-look images of Camila Cabello in new Cinderella adaptation, the Friends reunion gets a teaser and premiere date, Bridgerton gets a spinoff, and more of the buzziest TV and streaming news of the past week.


TOP STORY

Secret Invasion Adds Directors Thomas Bezucha and Ali Selim

SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME, Samuel L. Jackson

(Photo by Jay-Maidment / © Columbia Pictures / © Marvel Studios/ Courtesy Everett Collection)

Marvel Studios series Secret Invasion, starring Samuel L. Jackson and Ben Mendelsohn, has added directors Thomas Bezucha (Let Him Go) and Ali Selim (The Looming Tower), according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The series — the details of which are, of course, top secret — finds Nick Fury (Jackson) reunited with Skrull shape-shifter Talos (Mendelsohn) who last crossed paths for 2019’s Spider-Man: Far From Home. Olivia Colman, Emilia Clarke, and Kingsley Ben-Adir were added to the cast in recent weeks. Mr. Robot’s Kyle Bradstreet will write and executive produce.


The Crown Season 4 Star Gillian Anderson Will Play Catherine’s Mother in The Great Season 2

Gillian Anderson and The Great keyart with stars Nicholas Hoult and Elle Fanning

(Photo by Wiktor Szymanowicz/Barcroft Media via Getty Images/Hulu)

Gillian Anderson, who recently appeared as Margaret Thatcher in The Crown, will join Hulu’s original comedy series The Great in a two-episode appearance as Catherine’s (Elle Fanning) mother, Joanna. Hulu described the role in a statement: “Joanna is a glamorous socialite from Germany, sometimes also known as the ‘maestro of marriage’ for her abilities to arrange high profile partnerships for her daughters. She has heard rumors of her daughter’s coup and come to Russia to see it for herself. Though the apple of Catherine’s eye and a doting mother, it soon becomes clear Johanna has more sinister intentions to save her family’s reputation.” The comedy dramatizes Catherine’s rise to power as the longest-reigning female ruler in Russia’s history. “With only occasional historical facts,” according to Hulu, the series stars Elle Fanning as clear-eyed and ambitious Catherine and Nicholas Hoult as mercurial Emperor Peter.


That Friends Reunion Finally Gets a Release Date — Along with a Quick Teaser

The much-awaited, pandemic-delayed Friends: The Reunion will finally premiere on May 27 on HBO Max with the original cast and guest stars including David Beckham, Justin Bieber, BTS, James Corden, Cindy Crawford, Lady Gaga, Elliott Gould, Kit Harington, Larry Hankin, Mindy Kaling, Thomas Lennon, Christina Pickles, Tom Selleck, James Michael Tyler, Maggie Wheeler, and Reese Witherspoon.


Peacock Announces a Packed Lineup of Celeb-Led Unscripted Series

Demi Lovato

(Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images for OBB Media)

Streaming service Peacock has announced a lineup of upcoming unscripted programming that rivals those of the broadcast networks.

Celeb series are leading the way, with Unidentified with Demi Lovato, in which the pop star spends four episodes with her best friend and sister trying to prove that UFOs are for real. WWE superstar John Cena created and will narrate and executive produce WWE Evil, a series that serves as a “psychological expose” on the “most diabolical antagonists” in WWE history, and their impact on mainstream culture (a.k.a. wrasslin’ baddies); and a docuseries about NFL quarterback legend Joe Montana will highlight his history as an NCAA national champ and a multiple Super Bowl champ and Hall of Famer as a pro.

Other celeb-related offerings will include Paris in Love, a 13-episode wedding planning series in which Paris Hilton shares the to-dos on her I dos to capitalist Carter Reum, along with the wedding itself; The Siwa Dance Pop Revolution, in which pop star JoJo Siwa and her momager Jessalynn Siwa create and launch a new pop group; and True Story, in which Ed Helms and Randall Park hear everyday Americans share their most outrageous true stories, which are acted out by an all-star cast, essentially giving the storytellers their own biopic.

Peacock has also ordered a trio of new documentaries, including Downey Wrote That, about enduringly influential Saturday Night Live writer Jim Downey; Diamond Princess, about the dream cruise ship that became a nightmare when it trapped vacationers with an outbreak of COVID in 2020; and Perfect World: The Gamer Murders, a three-part docuseries about the true story of a group of international gamer friends who had to work together to unmask a real-life killer before he struck again.


Camila Cabello in Cinderella First-Look Photos

Camila Cabello and Nicholas Galitzine in Cinderella

(Photo by Camila Cabello and Nicholas Galitzine in Cinderella)

Amazon Prime Video gave us a first look of Camila Cabello and Nicholas Galitzine in their feature film debut as Cinderella and Prince Charming in Kay Cannon’s Cinderella. The new adaptation features an all-star cast that also includes Idina Menzel and Minnie Driver, with Billy Porter and Pierce Brosnan. and will launch exclusively around the world in over 240 countries and territories on Prime Video this September. The musical incorporates pop songs from contemporary global artists and original songs by Cabello and Menzel.


NEW TRAILERS: Stephen King Adapts His Own Story for Limited Series Horror-Romance Lisey’s Story

Lisey’s Story is the eight-episode adaptation of the Stephen King psychological horror-romance novel, the one inspired by his near-death experience after being hit by a van in 1999. King wrote all episodes of the miniseries about a wife haunted by forgotten memories of her famous novelist husband two years after his death. Stars Julianne Moore, Clive Owen, Joan Allen, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Dane DeHaan, Ron Cephas Jones, and Sung Kang. Premieres June 4. (Apple TV+)

More trailers and teasers released this week:
• Meerkat Manor: Rise of the Dynasty is a new docuseries that returns meerkat-loving viewers (and really, who doesn’t that include), to the Kalahari Desert where we first fell in love with Flowers in the original Meerkat Manor to meet three families of meerkats who are Flowers’ descendants. Premieres June 5. (BBC America)
• Oslo is the true story of negotiations between implacable enemies: the secret back-channel talks, unlikely friendships and quiet heroics of a small but committed group of Israelis, Palestinians and one Norwegian couple that led to the 1993 Oslo Peace Accords. Stars Ruth Wilson and Andrew Scott, Premieres May 29. (HBO)
• Solos is the seven-part anthology series that spans our present and future and illuminates that even during our most isolated moments we are all connected through the human experience. Stars Morgan Freeman, Anne Hathaway, Uzo Aduba, Helen Mirren, and Anthony Mackie. Premieres May 21. (Amazon Video)
• 1971: The Year That Music Changed Everything is the eight-part immersive docuseries that explores the musicians and soundtracks that shaped the culture and politics of 1971, including The Rolling Stones, Aretha Franklin, Bob Marley, Marvin Gaye, The Who, Joni Mitchell, Lou Reed, and more. Premieres May 21. (Apple TV+)
• Lupin, Part 2, is the continuation of Assane’s quest for revenge against Hubert Pelligrini, which has torn his family to pieces. Stars Omar Sy, Hervé Pierre, Nicole Garcia, Clotilde Hesme, Ludivine Sagnier, Antoine Gouy, Shirine Boutella, and Soufiane Guerrab, Premieres June 11. (Netflix)
• Wish Dragon is an animated series about Din, a college student with big dreams but small means, and Long, a cynical but all-powerful dragon capable of granting wishes, who set off on a hilarious adventure through modern day Shanghai in pursuit of Din’s long-lost childhood friend, Lina. Stars John Cho, Natasha Liu Bordizzo, Jimmy Wong, Constance Wu, Jimmy O. Yang, and Bobby Lee. Premieres June 11. (Netflix)
• Blindspotting is the TV sequel to Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal’s 2018 Oakland-set dramedy movie of the same name. Stars Jasmine Cephas Jones and Helen Hunt. Premiere June 13. (Starz)
• Panic is the YA drama, based on author Lauren Oliver’s book of the same name, about 47 recent high school graduates who take part in a competition which will lead them to escape the small town they live in, until the rules change and they must decide how much they are willing to risk to leave their hometown. Stars Olivia Welch, Enrique Murciano, Moira Kelly, and Nancy McKeon. Premieres May 28. (Amazon Video)
• BoschAmazon’s longest-running original series about LAPD detective Harry Bosch, will premiere its seventh and final season. Stars Titus Welliver. Premieres June 25. (Amazon Video)

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CASTING: Kiefer Sutherland Returns to the Spy Game

Kiefer Sutherland

(Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)

Kiefer Sutherland will star in an untitled espionage drama for Paramount+. Sutherland rejoins the TV spy game – after his iconic Emmy-winning performance as counterterrorist agent Jack Bauer in 24, which marks the 20th anniversary of its premiere in November – as James Weir, a private espionage operative in the midst of a battle over the preservation of democracy in a world at odds with misinformation, behavioral manipulation, the surveillance state, and the interests that control these extraordinary powers. Sutherland will executive produce alongside writer-directors John Requa and Glenn Ficarra (This Is Us), Charlie Gogolak (The Sinner), and Suzan Bymel (Designated Survivor).

Starz’ The Serpent Queen has added cast. Samantha Morton stars in the series as the nefarious Catherine de Medici, the 16th century French orphan who ruled France even after finding out her husband was in love with someone else. Her new costars include: Amrita Acharia (Game of Thrones), Enzo Cilenti (Free Fire), Barry Atsma (The Hitman’s Bodyguard), Nicholas Burns (Emma), Danny Kirrane (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales), Charles Dance (Game of Thrones), Ludivine Sagnier (8 Women), Liv Hill (Jellyfish), Kiruna Stamell (Moulin Rouge!), and Colm Meaney (Gangs of London).

Beginning with the 2022 Hollywood awards season, Orange Is the New Black star Laverne Cox will lead E!’s red carpet coverage and host a series of celebrity interview specials on the network.

Billy Porter, Zachary Quinto, and EJ Johnson are joining the voice cast of Disney+’s upcoming animated comedy series revival The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder. Porter and Quinto, respectively, voice Randall and Barry Leibowitz-Jenkins, mixed-race adoptive parents to 14-year-old activist Maya Leibowitz-Jenkins (Keke Palmer), while Johnson will voice Michael Collins, Penny Proud’s (Kyla Pratt) BFF and a non-conforming trendsetter, who serves up fierce looks at school and on the basketball court (Johnson’s father is Magic Johnson).

Netflix has released first look photos and confirmed voice cast for Kevin Smith’s Masters of the Universe: Revelation animated series that premieres on July 23. The talent includes Mark Hamill as Skeletor, Lena Headey as Evil-Lyn, Chris Wood as Prince Adam/He-Man, Sarah Michelle Gellar as Teela, Liam Cunningham as Man-At-Arms, Stephen Root as Cringer, Diedrich Bader as King Randor/Trap Jaw, Griffin Newman as Orko, Tiffany Smith as Andra, Henry Rollins as Tri-Klops, Alan Oppenheimer (the original Skeletor) as Moss Man, Susan Eisenberg as Sorceress, Alicia Silverstone as Queen Marlena, Justin Long as Roboto, Jason Mewes as Stinkor, Phil LaMarr as He-Ro, Tony Todd as Scare Glow, Cree Summer as Priestess, Kevin Michael Richardson as Beast Man, and Kevin Conroy as Mer-Man.

Showtime’s still untitled Los Angeles Lakers drama has added another duo to its star-packed cast: Gillian Jacobs (Community) will play Chris Riley, wife of Lakers legendary coach Pat Riley, while Wood Harris (The Wire) will play Spencer Haywood, who famously won the right in 1970 to join the NBA without going to college first (which Kobe Bryant did decades later).

LeVar Burton (Star Trek: The Next Generation) has joined The CW’s potential Nancy Drew spin-off Tom Swift, voicing the artificial intelligence companion and mentor to Tian Richards’ titular Tom. Burton will first appear in an upcoming Nancy Drew episode that will serve as a backdoor pilot for Tom Swift. (Deadline)

Emily Blunt (A Quiet Place), Chaske Spencer (Banshee), Rafe Spall (Trying), Tom Hughes (A Discovery of Witches), Stephen Rea (The Honourable Woman), and Valerie Pachner (The Kingsman) are starring in the Amazon Video western The English, set in 1890, about Cornelia Locke (Blunt), an Englishwoman who arrives into the new and wild landscape of the West to wreak revenge on the man she sees as responsible for the death of her son. She meets a man (Spencer) with whom she discovers a shared history, which must be defeated if either of them are to survive.

Rocketman star Jamie Bell is joining the cast of Apple+’s Elisabeth Moss drama Shining Girls. He’ll play a mysterious loner with a surprising connection to Moss’ reporter, Kirby, who is the victim of a brutal assault and tries to find her attacker as her reality begins to waver.

James Roday Rodriguez, Dulé Hill, Timothy Omundson, Maggie Lawson, Kirsten Nelson, and Corbin Bernsen return for their series and Psych movie roles for Peacock’s upcoming movie Psych 3: This Is Gus, in which Shawn and Groomzilla Gus go rogue in an attempt to track down Selene’s (Jazmyn Simon) estranged husband, as Lassie grapples with the future of his career.

Modern Family’s Sarah Hyland is joining the cast of Epic, ABC’s fairy tale drama where she’ll play Rose, a princess-y woman who’s about to marry her prince, i.e. the man of her dreams, until he has second thoughts. (Deadline)


PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT: Bridgerton Spinoff Focuses on Young Queen Charlotte 

BRIDGERTON GOLDA ROSHEUVEL

(Photo by LIAM DANIEL/NETFLIX © 2020)

Netflix has ordered a Bridgerton spinoff about a young Queen Charlotte, as well as young Violet Bridgerton and Lady Danbury. Shonda Rhimes will write and executive produce, alongside executive producers Betsy Beers and Tom Verica. (Variety)

Paramount+ is reviving The Game, the comedy that originally aired on The CW and then  2006-15. Original cast members Wendy Raquel Robinson and Hosea Chanchez will reprise their roles as sports agent Tasha Mack and footballer Malik Wright, as the action moves from San Diego to Las Vegas with a mix of original cast and new players and a modern-day examination of Black culture through the prism of pro football. Original show creator Mara Brock Akil, showrunner and writer Devon Greggory, Salim Akil, and original executive producers Kelsey Grammer and Tom Russo will be executive producers.

NBC will air Annie Live!, an update on the classic musical Annie, next December. Former NBC entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt and Chicago and Hairspray film producer Neil Meron are producing, and no cast has been announced yet.

Gordita Chronicles has been ordered to series at HBO Max. The comedy, with a pilot directed by executive producer Eva Longoria, revolves around a 12-year-old Dominican girl who tries to fit into her surroundings in 1980s Miami as she and her family try to achieve the American dream. Newcomer Olivia Goncalves stars.

There’s more Mystery Science Theater 3000 on the way, after a Kickstarter campaign raised $6.5 million to produce more of the beloved cult-favorite series. Series creator Joel Hodgson will create 13 new episodes – including a 3D installment – which will be shown online in The Gizmoplex, a new virtual theater and online community for MST3K. (Variety)

Showtime has its all-star Lakers series upcoming, and Hulu is going to give the Los Angeles NBA powerhouse a nine-part documentary series treatment. Lakers’ CEO and controlling owner Jeanie Buss is teaming with Emmy-winning director Antoine Fuqua for the project, which will unfold the franchise’s entire history, including its superstar rosters that have featured NBA Hall of Famers Magic Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal, and team captain Kareem Abdul-Jabbar; Kobe Bryant and LeBron James; and coaches Pat Riley and Phil Jackson.

Adult Swim will produce new original movies based on their hit series Aqua Teen Hunger ForceMetalocalypse, and The Venture Bros. The movies will be released home video, then premiere on HBO Max and Adult Swim.


Liam Hemsworth in Most Dangerous Game trailer-screencap (Quibi)

The original series from short-lived short-form program streaming service Quibi can be seen on The Roku Channel as of May 20. Among the series: Die Hart, the comedy about a training school for action heroes with Kevin Hart and John Travolta; the Liam Hemsworth thriller Most Dangerous Game; new episodes of the Comedy Central classic Reno 911!; and Flipped, the comedy starring Emmy-nominated Kaitlin Olson and Will Forte.

HBO will air Mike White’s (Enlightened) latest series, the six-episode social satire The White Lotus, this summer. The series is set at an exclusive Hawaiian resort and revolves around vacationers who plan to relax over the course of a week. But with each passing day, a darker complexity emerges in these picture-perfect travelers, the hotel’s cheerful employees, and the idyllic locale itself. Stars include Connie Britton, Jennifer Coolidge, Steve Zahn, Molly Shannon, Jon Gries, Alexandra Daddario, and Fred Hechinger. The series premieres July 11.

FXX has ordered the animated comedy Little Demon, a half-hour series starring Danny DeVito, his daughter Lucy, and Aubrey Plaza, who are all also executive producers on the series. The story: 13 years after being impregnated by the Devil (Danny DeVito), a reluctant mother (Plaza) and her Antichrist daughter (Lucy DeVito) attempt to live an ordinary life in Delaware, but are constantly thwarted by monstrous forces, including Satan, who wants custody of his daughter’s soul.

The CW has ordered an adult remake of the beloved 1993-95 Nickelodeon adventure series Legends of the Hidden Temple. The new series will preserve many of the original elements, including Olmec, the giant talking Mayan head, the Moat Crossings, The Steps of Knowledge, the Temple Run, and the iconic team names: “Purple Parrots,” “Blue Barracudas,” “Orange Iguanas,” “Red Jaguars,” “Silver Snakes” and “Green Monkeys.” But the remake will go outside and into a “jungle,” with tougher challenges and much bigger prizes.

PBS will premiere a new, four-part Ken Burn docuseries on boxing and activist icon Muhammad Ali in September. The special, titled Muhammad Ali, will air Sept. 19-22, and will the life of the man who, at the height of his fame and influence, challenged Americans’ racial prejudices, religious biases, and notions about what roles celebrities and athletes play in our society, and inspired people all over the world with his message of pride and self-affirmation.

Politician, attorney, activist, and author Stacey Abrams’ new legal thriller, While Justice Sleeps, has been optioned by Working Title Television, which plans to adapt the book as a series. The book unfolds the national drama that sparks when a Supreme Court justice falls into a coma. Abrams will executive produce the series.

AMC has ordered the sci-fi thriller Moonhaven from Lodge 40 showrunner Pete Ocko.  The series takes place on the titular utopian colony on the Moon, where a skeptical pilot and smuggler, marooned on Moonhaven after being accused of a crime, teams up with a detective to stop the evil forced that want to gain control of the colony’s powerful miracle-sparking AI, which is Earth’s only hope of surviving.


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